re: Question about reps

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Keith Wassung, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Keith Wassung

    Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    Lets say you are the owner of an independant hardware store. You have ten full time and five part time employees. Business is good, but predictable. One day you experience a sudden increase in customers wanting to buy your merchandise. You dont know where they are coming from, but it is at least a 40% increase in customers. Your one cashier cannot handle it and your two customer service reps on the floor are swamped......what do you do? do you immediately run out and hire more people, do you knock out a wall to increase your square footage? of course not--hiring and training employees is expensive as is re-modeling and expansion. Not only are these things expensive, but you dont know how long this new business is going to last--it would be stupid to invest in new employees and additional square footage if this is a one day increase.

    So what you do? You make internal adaptations--you set up a folding table with a calculator and a cashbox and that becomes your second register. you call out three guys from the stock room and turn them into customer service associates on the spot, you call in your part-timers if possible. In other words, you take what you already have, move it around to meet the increased demands. You cannot do this forever, but it works in the short term.

    Your body works in a similar manner. When a demand is placed on the body ( ie resistance training) your body will FIRST respond with internal re-configuration and usually this is in the form of neural adaption. Your body will actually change its nervous system around in order to meet the demands placed on it--Building muscle is expensive from a ****bolic standpoint and this is the last thing your body will do. In an attempt to preserve its resources, the body will invariably attempt to stop you, the soulful occupant of the body from inflicting any further load or demand on it.

    So what does this have to do with rep ranges? Well if you stay within a set rep range, then it will be much easier for the body to adapt, which means it gets better at stopping your progress because it knows what to expect. When you occasionally change up your rep ranges, its harder for the body to adjust for it and it has no choice but to make ****bolic changes. REMEMBER, when you place a load on the body, it resonds, but it responds in order to be "prepared" for the next time...if you come back next time with the same load, it it much easier for it to inhibit you and this is why even the best programs, that advocate the same rep ranges, go stale after awhile.

    A lifter who is primarily lifting for "strength" should focus on lower reps, but then would be very wise to occasionally venture in the middle and higher rep ranges. The bodybuilder type would be best to stick to higher rep ranges, but would be wise to occasionally hit the low reps

    I know that conventional internet lifting wisdom says that higher reps dont build strength, but I disagree, if you are doing a given weight for ten reps and then 6 weeks later you are doing an additional 20lbs for ten reps, then you have gotten stronger---now how it translates to a one rep max is another story--I believe it will increase the one rep max, either directly or indirectly and in most cases it gives you a greater foundation or base to grow that one rep max from. When I was competing, I did reps as high as 30 and many laughed at me and said it was a waste, but those occasional higher reps gave me increased stamina and muscular endurance which meant I could train a heck of a lot harder when doing the lower reps. One way or another it helped the bottom line.

    The key word is to "occasionally" leave your normal rep range. maybe every 4th workout or so. You will get a lot more growth longevity out of a 5x5 if you occasionally mix it up with other rep ranges. Just like a football team that has a great running game, will get more out of their ground game with the occasional pass play--if all they ever do is run, it makes it much easer for the defense to shut them down--same thing is true of your body.

    keith
     
  2. enright3060

    enright3060 Brown Belt

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    Thanks Keith
     
  3. takeahnase

    takeahnase watching the swarm

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    Nice article. Liked your Best Gym in the World article in Milo also.
     
  4. mschatz

    mschatz Hamma: I has it

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    Nice post. Thanks.
     
  5. thethirddiaz

    thethirddiaz vas a morir

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    Thanks, Keith. Another quality post.
     
  6. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    HOORAY FOR THE RETURN OF KEITH!!! you've been missed.
     
  7. Lorenz

    Lorenz Banned Banned

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    Great advice. I had always thought changing one's rep range was more to add variety to you're workout, as opposed to tricking our body into greater potential gains. Nice to know.
     
  8. Donut62

    Donut62 Black Belt

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    Thanks, Keith.

    *waits to see everyone doing 30 rep sets in the training logs*
     
  9. bacon

    bacon Silver Belt

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    Always a pleasure. Thanks for stopping by, Keith.
     
  10. takeahnase

    takeahnase watching the swarm

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    I was thinking of testing this strategy with situps first.
     
  11. bacon

    bacon Silver Belt

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    How's life treating you these days?
     
  12. Keith Wassung

    Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    It is to add variety, but variety for the purpose of out-gunning the wisdom of the body that controls our ****bolic/cellular machinery. We have within each of us, a molecular/biological machinery which seeks to limit what we want to do with our body--sort like a checks and balances, if not, man would quickly grow to amount of muscle weight that could not be supported by its internal neuro-chemistry. The two things that can off-set this is the human mind and the cycling of your rep ranges and to some degree cycling your training. If you look back at the history of marathon running in the late 60's early 70s', it had pretty much plateaued out--the times were not improving that much, athletes tried to train harder and log more miles, but it did little to increase their times. A couple of coaches started experiementing with having marathon runs do "speed work" short interval runs at near sprint speed about every 4th or 5th running day. The coaches who proposed this were laughed at--after all, a long distance runner needs endurance, not speed,,,,,well, the marathoners who did speed work quickly became the best runners in the world and it did not take long for speed work to take ahold in the marathon community.

    same thing to some degree
     
  13. Sean O Deere

    Sean O Deere Guest

    can you check your pms


    sorry for hijack

    good article though, standard good keith stuff, good to see you back
     
  14. liquid!

    liquid! mens rea

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    Awesome as usual Keith.
     
  15. Keith Wassung

    Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    pretty good, its been an interesting year, I dont want to clog up the training board with my life stories, I think I have done enough of that in the past.
     
  16. bacon

    bacon Silver Belt

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    Fair enough. Glad to see you survived the Greyhound debacle.
     
  17. Barut

    Barut Banned Banned

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    Thanks for the contribution Keith.
     
  18. Centaur

    Centaur Black Belt

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    Good post, I likey.
     
  19. Keith Wassung

    Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    maybe I should start a blog
     
  20. erco

    erco Brown Belt

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    blogger.com and wordpress.com are both easy to use. I'm sure if you started one, most of us here would go over and read it and leave feedback.
     

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